Bamboo flooring is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative for hardwood floors. This is due to several factors like low cost and ease of maintenance, but the most alluring quality is the eco-friendly nature of bamboo.
There are multiple components of the material that make it and eco-friendly choice. Bamboo has rapid growth and regeneration. Since it is technically a grass, bamboo starts as rhizomes and sends shoots and leaves above ground. It can also be harvested on a regular basis because it does not die when cut down- much like grass- bamboo just keeps on growing. It only takes between four to ten years for the usable wood to mature. Whereas trees that produce other hardwoods die when cut down and take decades to reach maturity.
In addition to the rapid growth rate, bamboo plants have higher carbon sequestration rates; this is because of the fast growth rate. Two and a half acres of bamboo sequesters approximately 62 tons of CO2 per year. In contrast, young forests only sequester about 15 tons. Bamboo also generates about 35% more oxygen than the equivalent number of trees.
High quality bamboo flooring can often be stronger than traditional hardwood floors because of its flexibility. Bamboo is able to bend and blow in the wind to a much greater extent than trees. This flexibility can make for greater durability in home flooring needs.
There are a few negatives to bamboo flooring, but the pros tend to outweigh the cons. Regardless it is best to know the facts. Be sure to check and see what kinds of chemicals were used to manufacture your bamboo floor because some of them are extremely harmful to the environment; a certain type of formaldehyde known as urea is often used and is particularly toxic. In addition, most of the bamboo used for home flooring needs is grown in Asia and shipped across seas, which has a large carbon footprint. For the most part, however, bamboo floors are an eco-friendly alternative that can help you turn your household green.